Level 4 Improv may be my favorite (and the most challenging) level thus far in my improv training, taking us deep into the realm of emotional expression. Many exercises explicitly demand the group to be focusing on ways we can support someone, while they practice their range and depth of expressing certain emotions. Support can be requested, but even as observing without participating, we remain attentive and engaged. We do not enter into the experience with our own ideas; we focus solely on waiting for ways we can offer support. We do not allow ourselves to grow passive, checking out and waiting until someone gets our attention; our attention is rapt and offered, our focus is committed and engaged. This Level 4 ethos strengthens our ability and our bond as improvisers, fine-tuning our instincts to look for ways to offer support to each other.
Raye Maddox here, Intern Manager, here with another pulse-pounding edge-of-your-seat episode of Interns of the Week! In this series I allow everyone to get a gander at two of our most prized House Crew Interns! Nominated by their House Managers weekly, Interns on our House Crew get a quick second in the spotlight before having to hop back into the job! Being awarded Intern of the Week nets them a bar tab, some free show tickets, and this nifty blog feature and with no more droning on, let’s talk to Alan Jenkins and Kyle Rico!
Where is your hometown?
Alan: I was born in Wichita, Kansas but grew up in Richardson/Plano area.
Kyle: I'm from Los Angeles. East Los Angeles to be precise!
What level of classes are you in?
A: I am almost finished with Level 5 Improv.*
K: Level 3 improv!
*Raye: at the time of this interview
What’s something you’re passionate about?
A: I’m an animal lover, all about Dallas sports, and really enjoy cooking. Sleeping isn’t half bad either.
K: I'm really passionate about design and human interaction with applications. It's basically a fusion of psychology and computer science, my two favorite things! It's really fun interviewing people and trying to see what their needs are when it comes to designing intuitive software.
What’s the best food?
A: I am a steak lover with pizza a close second, and I’ll never turn down a Snickerdoodle!
K: Sushi, hands down. I've been eating it everyday. Honestly, I'll probably die of mercury poisoning, but what a way to go!
What’s the worst candy?
A: Black licorice. No idea who thought that was a good idea.
K: Black licorice. Why does that even exist? It's toxic, literally, when consumed in high doses.
A: Twister and it’s not close. The weather has always fascinated me and I was hooked from the first time I saw it. I’ll put it on when I’m bored, going to sleep, sick, sad, whatever. “It’s the suck zone..” –Dusty
K: The Martian with Matt Damon. Science and comedy perfectly fused together. Seen it around 50 times already.
What’s just the worst?
A: Probably getting stuck in traffic when you gotta go. You know, gotta go bad. There’s a weird acceptance that hits you if IT were to actually happen. Like, well, guess I’m done doing whatever I had planned for the day. I’m not speaking from experience, but that would suck.
K: Making plans is just the worst. Stressful, and you immediately regret committing yourself to something.
What’s some good advice?
A: If you give a smile, you’ll get a smile! :)
K: No one's ever gone blind by looking at the bright side of life. So let's stare at it
Alan Jenkins is no longer on a House Crew, but the walls creak and moan waiting for his return! He was a solid help in all situations and always a warm face to greet you at the door! You can still catch him around the theater though as he still haunts this place!
Kyle Rico is a blessing! He has a quiet resoluteness to him that makes him a dependable piece of any House Crew team! You can always catch him on Thursday nights!
Raye Maddox is the Intern Manager and the Assistant in Toilet Paper Affairs at Dallas Comedy House. He has recently watched Bad Times at the El Royale. The movie is long but the pacing is fantastic. If you are in the mood for a thriller, go see this movie! You can catch him do improv in Midnight Passion, Kill Me Please, Gerald, and Don’t Broke Not Fixin’.
The Improvised Horror Movie is a tradition at the Dallas Comedy House. Directed by Tab Parker, the cast of ten players creates a brand new scary film each and every show. To celebrate the end of this year’s run, I compiled a brief synopsis for every movie the group has created in 2018!
Each month, Dallas Comedy House highlights an individual nominated by their peers as Performer Of The Month. To cast your vote for a performer, simply fill out this form.
The recipient this month is Ryan Vicksell, a hilarious sketch and improv performer who puts his all into every project he works on. Whether it’s an improv team like Encyclopedia Moronica or a sketch group like Walker Talker, Ryan gives each show everything he’s got. Off the stage, Ryan is an approachable guy who is always game to talk about comedy, history, or the obscure song he sang at karaoke.
This series explores the lives of former Dallas Comedy House (DCH) students and graduates, showcasing their creativity and how they’ve used lessons from DCH classes in their artistic pursuits.
Rozie DeLoach and Darek Tatum live in a motel. Well, not a real motel. A motel that exists in a podcast universe. It’s called Rabbit Hole Motel, and every two weeks, listeners learn about the unusual, the weird, and the profound that inhabits the real—or not so real—world.
Rozie was a DCH student in 2011, and Darek took classes in 2010. I sat down with them in Rozie’s strings shop to learn more about their podcast.
Jason Hensel: What is the podcast’s origin story?
Editing is a crucial tool for a lively and energetic improv show: the well-timed edit secures a joke in infamy; the strong edit leaves the audience at the height of their laughter, thirsty for more.
When we first learn editing in improv, our instincts are brand new. As we practice and progress, a phenomenon occurs. Watching our teammates play out their scenes, our feet begin to communicate their own message. Our teachers encourage us: follow your feet. They seem to have a wisdom of their own; we lurch forward as if about to fall off a ledge. Coming up to our toes and then back down to our heels, something within us had an idea, something within us felt that the scene could end here; together we found a height of connection and comedy.